Sep 21, 2014
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February 2014 Archive for Farmland Forecast

RSS By: Marc Schober, AgWeb.com

Marc Schober is the editor of Farmland Forecast an educational blog devoted to investments in agriculture and farmland.

USDA Weekly Exports: Net Corn and Soybean Sales Rebound from Last Week

Feb 27, 2014

Following a marketing year low last week, soybean sales increased by over 250% and corn rebounded over 20%. Winter weather conditions continues to hinder transportation of grains from the Midwest to the coasts.

Weekly U.S. net corn sales for the week ending February 20th in the 2013/2014 marketing year were 840,800 metrics tons (MT), a 22% increase from the previous week, but a 13% decrease from the prior 10-week average. Increases were reported from Japan, Colombia, Peru, The Dominican Republic, and Egypt. Decreases were reported from China. Exports were 853,100 MT, a 14% increase from the prior week and 2% increase from the prior 10-week average. The primary destinations were Japan, Mexico, Peru, Colombia, and South Korea.

Weekly net soybean sales were 327,700 MT, a 280% increase from the previous week, but a 35% decrease from the prior 10-week average. Increases were reported from China, Mexico, the Netherlands, Germany, and Spain. Decreases were reported from unknown destinations, Russia, and Canada. Exports were 1,796,900 MT, a 34% increase from the prior week and 14% increase from the prior 10-week average. Primary destinations were China, the Netherlands, Germany, Saudi Arabia, and Spain.

Weekly net wheat sales were 365,000 MT, a 14% decrease from the previous week and a 24% decrease from the prior 10-week average. Increases were reported from unknown, destinations, the Philippines, Thailand, Brazil, and Mexico. Decreases were reported from Uruguay, and Peru. Exports were 547,400 MT, a 97% increase from the prior week and a 36% increase from the prior 10-week average. Primary destinations were the Nigeria, Peru, Brazil, South Korea, and the Philippines.

2 27 14 Sales

Source: USDA Foreign Agricultural Service

2 27 14 exports

Source: USDA Foreign Agricultural Service

For daily articles on farmland and agriculture, visit http://www.farmlandforecast.com/

Extreme Cold and Falling Crop Prices Blamed for February Slowdown

Feb 24, 2014

The rural economy shrunk for the first time since September 2012. The extreme cold and falling grain prices seen at the end of January were cited as the reasons for the decrease. Farmland values and farm equipment sales continue to trend lower from last month, which can be attributed to the uncertainty of the commodities market entering 2014.

The Rural Mainstreet Index, ranging between 0 and 100 with 50.0 representing growth neutral, decreased to 48.4 from a 50.8 in January, falling below growth neutral for the first time in over a year. Ernie Goss PhD., economist at Creighton University, suggests the reason for slower rate of growth is due to the decrease in corn, soybean and wheat prices.

Goss stated, "Despite year-over-year declines in agriculture commodity prices bank CEOs consider lower agricultural prices as the biggest threat to the 2014 economy. These softer prices have had, and will continue to have, negative impacts on the Rural Mainstreet economy." The extremely cold weather experienced across much of the Midwest and increased heating costs were also cited as reasons for the decrease.

RMI feb 2014 Rural Mainstreet Index
Source: Rural Mainstreet Index Creighton University

The farmland price index decreased to 41.7 from 43.8. "This is the third straight month that the farmland and ranchland-price index has moved below growth neutral," said Goss, "With the Federal Reserve continuing to withdraw their economic stimulus, rising interest rates are expected to put downward pressure on agriculture commodity prices and farmland prices."

RIM feb 2014 Farmland Price index
Source: Rural Mainstreet Index Creighton University


Farm equipment sales sank to 30.1 from 41.0. Concern over the Federal Reserve tapering the stimulus and its effect on interest rates is a contributing factor to the large decline. Goss explained, "Agriculture equipment manufacturers continue to experience strong sales abroad. However, equipment dealers and farm equipment manufacturers selling domestically are experiencing pullbacks in sales and production."

Bankers were asked this month about their expectations for farmland prices over the next year and the biggest economic challenges the rural community faces in 2014. More than 35% of the bankers were confident that farmland prices would increase or stay the same over the coming year. Of the economic challenges given, an overwhelming 90% believed that low commodity prices would be the largest obstacle for their area in 2014, followed by the PPACA Affordable Care Act and overly aggressive EPA both receiving 5%.

RMI table feb 2014

Source: Creighton University

Survey

This survey represents an early snapshot of the economy of rural, agricultural and energy-dependent portions of the nation. The RMI is a unique index covering 10 regional states, focusing on approximately 200 rural communities with an average population of 1,300. It gives the most current real-time analysis of the rural economy.

For daily articles on farmland and agriculture, visit www.farmlandforecast.com

USDA Weekly Exports: Difficult Market Conditions Hamper Sales and Exports

Feb 21, 2014

Extreme winter weather across the U.S. and civil unrest in emerging markets around the world led to declines in sales and export numbers for corn, soybean, and wheat. Marketing year lows were observed for wheat exports and soybean sales. Sales and export numbers were at higher reported levels last in 2013 at the same time.

Weekly U.S. net corn sales for the week ending February 13th in the 2013/2014 marketing year were 691,400 metrics tons (MT), a 46% decrease from the previous week and a 28% decrease from the prior 10-week average. Increases were reported from Japan, Peru, Egypt, Venezuela, and Guatemala. Decreases were reported from unknown destinations, China, and the Dominican Republic. Exports were 745,000 MT, a 20% decrease from the prior week and 14% decrease from the prior 10-week average. The primary destinations were Japan, Mexico, Peru, South Korea, and Colombia.

Weekly net soybean sales were 86,300 MT, a 50% decrease from the previous week and an 86% decrease from the prior 10-week average. Increases were reported from the Netherlands, Mexico, Honduras, Jordan, Switzerland, and Costa Rica. Decreases were reported from unknown destinations and China. Exports were 1,339,500 MT, a 10% decrease from the prior week and 17% decrease from the prior 10-week average. Primary destinations were China, the Netherlands, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Mexico.

Weekly net wheat sales were 424,500 MT, a 29% decrease from the previous week and an 11% decrease from the prior 10-week average. Increases were reported from Japan, unknown, destinations, the Philippines, Uruguay, and Colombia. Decreases were reported from the Egypt and Honduras. Exports were 277,300 MT, a 31% decrease from the prior week and a 36% decrease from the prior 10-week average. Primary destinations were the Brazil, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, and Nigeria.

2 21 14 Sales

Source: USDA Foreign Agricultural Service

2 21 14 Exports

Source: USDA Foreign Agricultural Service

For daily articles on farmland and agriculture, visit http://www.farmlandforecast.com/

 

Confidence in Farmland Values Remains Strong

Feb 18, 2014

Farmland values set new records in 2013 following another year of increases in the Tenth Federal District. Continuing with the trend of the past few years, farmland values saw year-over-year increases with irrigated and nonirrigated farmland appreciating across the District by 7.4% and 9.2% respectively. Although farmland values appreciated, the pace of that appreciation slowed due to a drop in crop prices since early 2013

KC Q4 2013 pic1

Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City Tenth District Agricultural Credit Conditions report

Of the bankers surveyed across the Tenth District, an overwhelming 84% were optimistic about farmland values remaining at current levels or increasing in 2014. Competition for purchasing farmland is still very strong in the District with farmers being the most active participants. Land quality has been cited as the main driver for price appreciation in the District, with significantly less demand for marginal ground.

Production

Crop production for the Tenth District increased significantly in 2013. The increase was expected for the region that was most seriously affected by the 2012 drought. The sharp rise in production did not equate to a rise in farm income as grain prices fell 40% in 2013. Banker’s outlook for farm income in 2014 is equally as pessimistic with grain prices expected to remain low in the coming year.

Credit

Lower farm income in 2013 drove demand for operating loans during the fourth quarter which increased loan demand to a five-year high. Increased production and lower grain prices led farmers to store more crop following the 2013 harvest, causing an increase in the demand for short-term lending as farmers prepare for the 2014 planting season. Loan repayment declined in 2013 and renewals and extensions increased as a result of decreased farm income.

Despite the increase in borrowing demand, bankers kept interest rates low for operating and real estate loans. Bankers also reported little change in collateral requirements suggesting that they are still optimistic moving into 2014.

Outlook

Decreased grain prices and increased production in 2013 slowed the extreme pace of farmland value appreciation seen over the past few years. Farmers continue to be interested in purchasing land as attendance at auctions and competition for high quality farmland remained high. Despite lower farm income in 2013, bankers were still confident in the industry keeping interest rates and collateral requirements at similar levels. Opportunities for land purchase and lease back should be strong in 2014 as farmers are looking to increase their operating capital as the planting season nears.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City’s fourth quarter survey of Farmland Values and Agricultural Credit Conditions Report is a summary of the Tenth District’s value of farmland, farm loan portfolio performance, and on-farm income. The Tenth District consists of Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Wyoming, the northern half of New Mexico, and the western third of Missouri.

For daily articles on farmland and agriculture, visit www.farmlandforecast.com.

 

Farmland Values Reach New Heights Despite Adversity

Feb 14, 2014

Farmland values continue their historic rise growing 3% across the Seventh Federal District in the fourth quarter of 2013. Indiana and Illinois led the district with 10% and 14% year-over-year increases in their farmland value.  Overall the Seventh District grew 5% in 2013 despite grain pricing falling 40% in 2013. Farmland values in 2013 set new record highs when indexed for inflation, almost doubling the peak seen during the farmland boom of the 1970s.

Farmland Values and Credit conditions Q4 2013 pic 1 2

Of the bankers surveyed a majority anticipated farmland values to remain stable or increase during the first quarter of 2013. Expectations are that farmland purchases by farmers will decrease in 2014 creating a less crowded buying environment for non-farmer investors with less competition and potential for lower purchase prices.

Production

Crop production for the Seventh District rebounded strong following the 2012 drought.  Corn yields surged 42% to 169 bushels per acre, its third highest yield on record.  Soybeans yields also increased 7.5% ti 46.9 bushels per acre. Production numbers were also well above levels seen in 2012, with both corn and soybean production increasing 36% and 8.4 % respectively.  The rebound in agricultural production for the US in 2013 led to the largest corn crop and the third-largest soybean crop on record.

Credit

Credit conditions worsened in the district during the fourth quarter of 2013. The index of loan repayment rates of non-real-estate farm loans fell at the end of 2013. Farmers still struggling to recover from the 2012 drought and falling grain prices in 2013 had less cash on hand following the 2013 harvest which resulted in higher demand for non-real-estate farm loans in the final quarter of 2013.  Non-real-estate farm loan demand jumped significantly, reaching levels not seen since early 2007.

Of the banks surveyed 27% tightened credit standards for agricultural loans during the fourth quarter of 2013, with 6% requiring more collateral to qualify. Interest rates for farm operating loans edged up to 4.99% in early 2014, but the interest rate level is still below levels from a year ago.

Outlook

Falling grain prices and record corn and soybean production led to a tapering of farmland value increases in 2013. Farmers demand for farmland in 2014 is expected to fall as they recover from the steep decline in grain prices seen in 2013 and tightening credit standards banks are placing on agricultural loans. In contrast from past years, the buying environment for farmland will be significantly less crowded providing investors with an opportunity to see lower prices at auction and through private sale. As banks become more restrictive with their lending farmers may be more apt to sell and lease back land than in past years in an effort to liquidate assets.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s fourth quarter survey of Farmland Values and Agricultural Credit Conditions Report is a summary of the Seventh District’s value of farmland, farm loan portfolio performance, and on-farm income.  The Seventh District consists of the entire states of Iowa, and portions of Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Michigan.

For daily articles on farmland and agriculture, visit www.farmlandforecast.com

USDA Weekly Exports: Corn and Wheat Sales Remain Strong

Feb 13, 2014

Sales volumes fell last week as grain prices rallied to their highest levels of 2014. Corn and wheat sales were still well above their 10-week average. Exports were at or above levels seen a year ago despite inclement weather across the U.S. slowing transportation.

Weekly U.S. net corn sales for the week ending February 6th in the 2013/2014 marketing year were 1,269,800 metrics tons (MT), a 25% decrease from the previous week, but a 42% increase from the prior 10-week average. Increases were reported from unknown destinations, Colombia, South Korea, Mexico, and Japan. Decreases were reported from China and the United Kingdom. Exports were 952,500 MT, a 24% increase from the prior week and 6% increase from the prior 10-week average. The primary destinations were Mexico, Japan, South Korea, Colombia, and Guatemala.

Weekly net soybean sales were 173,600 MT, a 70% decrease from the previous week and a 74% decrease from the prior 10-week average. Increases were reported from China, Mexico, South Korea, Indonesia, and Colombia. Decreases were reported from unknown destinations. Exports were 1,494,000 MT, a 1% decrease from the prior week and 10% decrease from the prior 10-week average. Primary destinations were China, Mexico, Russia, Bangladesh and South Korea.

Weekly net wheat sales were 597,000 MT, a 7% decrease from the previous week, but a 36% increase from the prior 10-week average. Increases were reported from Japan, Nigeria, Indonesia, Colombia, South Korea, Mexico, and Japan. Decreases were reported from the China and the United Kingdom. Exports were 403,700 MT, a 10% increase from the prior week, but a 6% decrease from the prior 10-week average. Primary destinations were the Mexico, Japan, Venezuela, Taiwan, and Guatemala.

2 13 14 Sales

2 13 14 Export

For daily articles on farmland and agriculture, visit http://farmlandforecast.colvin-co.com/

Farm Income Expected to Outpace the Prior 10-Year Average

Feb 12, 2014

Net farm income is forecasted to be $95.8 billion, $8 billion above the previous 10-year average. Although the expected net farm income is healthy, it is a 26.6% decrease from 2013's record forecast of $130.5 billion. Production expenses expected to fall for only the second time in the last 10 years.

Income Forecast Remain Above 10-year Watermark

The 2014 forecast of $95.8 billion is the lowest since 2010, but still 8.35% above the prior 10-year average of $87 billion.  Net cash income is forecasted at $101.9 billion, down 21.45% from 2013. Net cash income is expected to decline less than net farm income because it reflected the sale of more than $6 billion in carryover stocks from 2013.

Net farm income pic

Crop Production Value Struggle to Keep Pace With 2013

Value of crop production in 2014 is expected to decline after large gains in 2013.  All major crop categories are expected to be effected as a result. Sales receipts and value inventory changes for corn are expected to fall due to large increases in production, suggesting a significant decline in the average price of corn. US wheat’s annual price is expected to drop because of large global yield forecasts and declines in other feed grain prices which have reduced domestic demand. Soybean receipts and value of production are also expected to be down in 2014 due to an expected 19.3% decline in the annual price.  The soybean-to-corn-calendar-year price ratio is predicted to be 2.7, suggesting that farmers will shift a considerable number of acres to soybeans in 2014.

Values of production pic

Production Expenses Expected to Fall

Production expenses are expected to fall in 2014 for the first time since 2009. Though expenses remain well above what they were in 2012, the decline interrupts what has been a rapid upward movement in expenses increasing 84% in the last 10 years. The three major crop expenses are seeds, fertilizer, and pesticides, are expected to fall a combined $2.9 billion or 4.7%.  Fertilizer was the driving force behind the decline.  Expected expenses for fertilizer use in 2014 fell $3.1 billion or 12%.

Outlook

Farmer income remains healthy moving into the 2014 planting season, even amid drastic reductions in crop prices. The volatility of demand and weather play a key role in the development of a crop year, making it difficult to forecast.  The USDA makes their forecasts based off of optimal weather conditions; over the past two years, the U.S. has experienced anything but optimal weather.

For daily articles on farmland and agriculture, visit www.farmlandforecast.com

WASDE: Rising Exports Decrease Corn Supplies

Feb 10, 2014

Grain stocks were reported lower in February due to a strong rise in exports for corn, soybeans, and wheat, according to the USDA. U.S. corn ending stocks for 2013 were lowered by 150 million bushels, more than analysts expected, due to the strong foreign demand. Soybean ending stocks were unchanged and the USDA continues to set the floor for stocks at 150 million bushels.                               

Corn

U.S. corn ending stocks were projected 150 million bushels lower due to increased exports. Lower corn prices have made U.S. corn more attractive to foreign buyers. The season-average farm price for corn was raised 10 cents on both ends of the projected range to $4.20 to $4.80 per bushel.

Global corn production was not changed due to lower reports in Argentina and Russia that were offset by increases reported in Ukraine. Coarse grain supplies were projected 2.1 million tons higher for 2013/14 due to higher beginning stocks and production. Global consumption was also raised 5 million tons with higher corn feeding for the European Union, Canada, South Korea, and Egypt.

U.S. Ending Stocks (Million Bushels) 2013/14

Grain

February 2014

Average Estimates

January 2014

Corn

1,481

1,606

1,631

Soybeans

150

143

150

Soybeans 

U.S. soybean supplies for 2013/14 were increased by 5 million bushels to 3.46 billion bushels due to higher projected imports. Soybean exports for 2013/14 were projected at 1.51 billion bushels, up 15 million from last month reflecting the record pace of shipments and sales through January.

Projected ending stocks for 2013/14 soybeans were unchanged at 150 million bushels as increased exports were offset by a reduction in residual use and an increase in imports. The 2013/14 season-average price range was projected at $11.95 to $13.45, up 20 cents on both ends.

Global soybean production was raised 0.9 million tons to a record 287.7 million.  Soybean production for Brazil was increased 1 million from last month to a record 90 million tons due to higher yields reflecting higher early harvest results in the center-west.

Wheat

U.S. wheat ending stocks for 2013/14 were projected 50 million bushels lower due to higher expected food use and exports. Imports were raised 10 million bushels as railroad congestion and inclement weather slow Canadian wheat shipments to Pacific Coast terminals, encouraging additional shipments to the U.S. market.

Exports were projected 50 million bushels higher due to strong sales and shipments and reduced competition from Argentina. The season-average farm price for all wheat was narrowed 5 cents on both ends of the projected range to $6.65 to $6.95 per bushel.

Global wheat supplies for 2013/14 were lowered 1.1 million tons with lower beginning stocks for Argentina and Russia and a 0.8-million-ton reduction in world production.

Outlook

Exports were the headline in today's WASDE report and will be the main focus throughout the 2014 season. Record setting production out of areas like the U.S. and South America have put pressure on prices, but it has been met with continued demand worldwide.

For daily articles on farmland and agriculture, visit www.farmlandforecast.com

 

USDA Weekly Exports: Corn Sales Well Above 10-Week Average

Feb 06, 2014

Net corn sales decreased from last week, but are above the 10-week average and are on pace to meet the USDA's projected 2013/2014 U.S. corn exports of 1.45 billion bushels.

Weekly U.S. net corn sales for the week ending January 30th in the 2013/2014 marketing year were 1,700,100 metrics tons (MT), an 8% decrease from the previous week, but 106% increase from the prior 10-week average. Increases were reported from Japan, unknown destinations, Spain, Vietnam, and Taiwan. Decreases were reported from China and Peru. Exports were 747,300 MT, a 26% decrease from the prior week and 14% decrease from the prior 10-week average. The primary destinations were Japan, Taiwan, Mexico, Vietnam, and Venezuela.

Weekly net soybean sales were 577,000 MT, a 17% increase from the previous week, but a 23% decrease from the prior 10-week average. Increases were reported from China, Indonesia, Netherlands, Japan, and Germany. Decreases were reported from unknown destinations and Canada. Exports were 1,508,100 MT, a 29% decrease from the prior week and 11% decrease from the prior 10-week average. Primary destinations were China, Mexico, Taiwan, and the Netherlands.

Weekly net wheat sales were 638,800 MT, a 20% decrease from the previous week, but a 48% increase from the prior 10-week average. Increases were reported from Guatemala, Japan, Brazil, the Philippines, and Mexico. Decreases were reported from the Leeward Windward Islands and Barbados. Exports were 367,900 MT, a 13% decrease from the prior week and a 14% decrease from the prior 10-week average. Primary destinations were the Philippines, Mexico, South Korea, Taiwan, and Chile.

2 6 14 Sales

2 6 14 Export

For daily articles on farmland and agriculture, visit http://farmlandforecast.colvin-co.com/

 

 

Corn Prices Rise in January; Planting Delay on Horizon

Feb 03, 2014

Additional blasts of extremely arctic cold air have been persistent throughout the Corn Belt for much of January. The long-term forecast calls for the cold snap to remain through mid-February causing more problems for farmers working outside this winter. Local grain price basis was softening due to farmers selling their corn and soybeans preparing for spring input expenses, but the bitterly cold has curbed local selling which has led to localized price support. The extreme cold may be a problem for farmers in January, but the cold helps alleviate soil compaction and kill soil fungus and other bug eggs that cause yield loss throughout summer. Current frost levels are near 50" in southern Minnesota. Such a deep frost can delay the spring thaw and cause farmers major planting delays pending additional snow and rain.

Farmland values are reverting back to their historical averages of 8% to 10% appreciation after nine out of ten years of double digit appreciation, according to two reports produced by Farm Credit Services of America (FCS) this month. Farmland prices appreciated 16% annually over the past ten years, although they have taken a slight decline in the past 12 months. Uncertainty about the Farm Bill and weaker commodity prices led to the decline. The FCS benchmark value still increased 9% from 2012, despite the recent slowdown of farmland appreciation, suggesting a trend back to historical averages.

Grain Prices

March corn prices increased this month by 2.8% and closed at $4.34 per bushel, its first monthly gain since August, due to stronger than expected export demand and high cash prices. Areas of the Corn Belt have been experiencing elevated cash prices due to the extreme cold which has pushed local basis higher because farmers have been unable to bring their corn to market in the cold.

The USDA decreased the average 2013 U.S. corn yield in the January WASDE Report by 1.6 bushels per acre to 158.8 bushels per acre. Ending stocks were thus decreased by 161 million bushels due to the decrease in yield and a 100 million bushel increase in use driven by ethanol. 30% more corn was on hand as of December 1st from a year prior, according to the USDA quarterly Grain Stocks Report. 72.4 million bushels of corn were exported during the week ending January 24th, a 150% increase from the 10-week average, according to the most recent USDA Export Report.

China has continued to reject U.S. cargos carrying corn with the unapproved GMO trait, MIR 162 this month. Over 600,000 metric tons of U.S. corn have been rejected so far. The Chinese AgMin biosafety committee will next meet in late March which looks to be the next opportunity for MIR 162 to be approved for Chinese imports. The weakening Chinese demand outlook for U.S. corn has been and will continue to weigh on traders until a resolution is found.

The price of March soybeans decreased by 0.8% in January, closing at $12.84 per bushel. The Brazilian soybean harvest has been progressing well with favorable weather and yields thus far, acting as a primary factor in the decline of U.S. soybean prices. The average 2013 U.S. soybean yield was increased by 0.3 bushels per acre by the USDA to 43.3 bushels per acre in the January WASDE Report. Consequently, U.S. production was increased by 31 million bushels, but the record setting pace of exports in the first quarter offset any major change to ending stocks. We will monitor the extent of the most recent bird flu outbreak in China, which could impact their demand for soybeans.

March wheat prices, again, steadily declined throughout the month by 8.3% and closed at $5.55 per bushel. The USDA increased ending U.S. wheat stocks by 33 million bushels due to decreased use. The top wheat importer of the world, Egypt, announced in late January that the country was in no additional need of wheat until at least mid-May. Canada’s bumper wheat crop has and will continue to provide ample supply to the world market. The lack of snow cover has been an issue for winter wheat varieties in the U.S. and if additional snow does not fall and the crop does not enter complete dormancy, yield loss will occur due to frost damage.

South American Crop Condition

Soybean harvest has commenced in the key growing areas of Brazil where farmers are combining soybeans and immediately planting corn. Short dry spells and pressure from Helicoverpa worms have been the only problems for the predicted bumper soybean crop. Brazil soybean production is estimated at 89.5mmt, 9.1% higher than last year, according to the USDA Attaché. Warmer weather is forecasted in central and southern Brazil through early February and dryer weather should help speed along early harvest in northern Brazil.

Corn pollination appears to have gone well throughout Argentina and areas of Brazil in January due to adequate rainfall that relived crops of extremely hot temperatures in late January. Brazil has improved their cargo loading infrastructure in major ports, and we will monitor by how much Brazilian logistics improve. China has been interested in purchasing more Brazilian corn to make up for rejected U.S. corn, but logistics may prevent Brazil from being able to fill such supply.

Outlook

The weather conditions throughout the South American soybean harvest and corn growing season will greatly dictate world soybean and corn prices. Logistical improvements in Brazil have been made in the last 12 months, although major export delays are still anticipated, which will favor alternative suppliers. We will closely monitor both the weather and logistics in South America in February.

The U.S. Corn Belt has a split moisture situation with very dry conditions present in the west and potentially too much spring moisture in the central region. Nearly no snow is covering areas of South Dakota, North Dakota, Nebraska, and western Minnesota which could lead to a dry spring for planting. Conversely, the extreme cold conditions paired with average snowfall could lead to a delayed spring thaw and wet conditions throughout the central Corn Belt. It is still very early to predict spring planting conditions, but we will cautiously monitor the precipitation throughout February and March.

- Colvin

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